Gustavo Yacaman scored his second Firestone Indy Lights win of 2012, both on street courses, with a victory in Toronto on Saturday.
The win, coupled with issues for two of his championship rivals, helped him gain a few extra points in the title chase. Sebastian Saavedra and polesitter Victor Carbone completed the podium.
Yacaman passed Carbone on lap 13 for the lead, and Saavedra followed through from there. Although Saavedra stayed close to Yacaman the rest of the race, he was never able to make a passing attempt and scored the runner-up finish.
“That was a wild first corner,” Yacaman said of the first corner of the race, where contact from rivals helped aid his charge. “I am not sure what those guys were thinking. We're not in bumper cars, you know, drivers were banging all around. I was lucky to stay out of trouble, and I got hit from behind and got bounced around but nothing happen to me or my car. We had some gear box issues but still stayed in first position even though Sebastian Saavedra was right behind me the whole way."
Two of the other Schmidt cars – Esteban Guerrieri and Tristan Vautier – each had fraught days. Guerrieri finished just sixth and Vautier spun on the opening lap to finish a season-worst eleventh in the 11-car field. Both drivers explained the situation from the first lap.
“We had a very slow start. In the first corner I got hit from the back and Tristan was on my outside,” said Guerrieri. “Tristan and I made contact and unfortunately Tristan went into the wall. It was a crazy start. I ended up breaking my front wing on the front left tire though.”
“It's a big shame. I had a very good run at the start,” Vautier said. “I was next to Esteban and it's hard to tell how much room he had, so I decided to go very wide. Through the corner, my ends were straight and he clipped me. I want to watch the video again. I realized the car was broken in Turn 1, but I didn't know how damaged it was. So, I kept driving it. It's a shame and so disappointing. But it's racing and just a part of it. The championship is still very long."
Guerrieri leads Vautier in the points, 316-295, with Saavedra and Yacaman at 284 and 269 points, respectively. The series races in Edmonton in two weeks.
Results - 50 laps:
Pos Driver Team Time/Gap
1. Gustavo Yacaman Moore 59m21.0045s
2. Sebastian Saavedra AFS/Andretti + 2.2874s
3. Victor Carbone Schmidt + 17.5199s
4. Peter Dempsey Belardi + 24.7993s
5. Oliver Webb Schmidt + 25.9034s
6. Esteban Guerrieri Schmidt + 32.5404s
7. David Ostella Moore + 50.0610s
Juan Pablo García Jeffrey Mark 30 laps
Jorge Goncalvez Belardi 30 laps
Carlos Munoz Andretti 1 lap
Tristan Vautier Schmidt 0 laps